The paint industry in Nigeria is a very competitive one. Numerous companies, both big and small, continuously push the boundaries through innovation in order to come up with the finest coat. Our company focus for this week, Chemical and Allied Products Plc, is one of such paint makers. But does the company have what it takes to survive and excel in a highly saturated market space? Well, let’s find out.
Corporate information about CAP Plc
Chemical and Allied Products Plc, which is also known as CAP Plc for short, is a Lagos-based chemical company specialised in the manufacturing and merchandising of paints. The NSE-listed company, which is a leader in its sector, has a wide array of products which are relatively preferred by builders and home owners across the country.
A look back at the company’s history
CAP Plc’s history is traceable to 1957, when the British-owned multinational, Imperial Chemical Industries Plc, established a subsidiary in Nigeria and named it ICI Exports Limited. But eight years afterwards and five years after Nigeria’s independence from Britain, the company’s name was changed to ICI Nigeria Limited.
It should be recalled that following Nigeria’s independence in 1960, a strong wave of nationalism and anti-western sentiments swept through every aspect of Nigeria’s socio-economic life. The military governments in place at the time even made two indigenization decrees (in 1972 and 1977) which sought to transfer ownership of western-owned companies into Nigerian hands.
In compliance with these decrees, the British owners of ICI Nigeria Limited began the process of divesting their stake in the company. It started with a 40% divestment during the aftermath of the 1972 indigenisation decree, and then it soon got to a total divestment of 60% following the 1977 decree. The shares were, of course, acquired by Nigerians investors. It should also be noted that it was during this time that the company’s name was officially changed to Chemical and Allied Products Limited through a special resolution that was reached by the new shareholders.
In the year 1991, the company became a publicly-quoted one, even as its equities were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the following year, 1992. Also in 1992, ICI Nigeria Limited divested its remaining 40% stockholding in CAP Plc, with UAC of Nigeria Plc buying up some 35.7% of the company’s shares. UAC’s shareholding in the company has been on the increase ever since, currently standing at 50%. This makes it the majority shareholder, with the remaining 50% shareholding privately owned by Nigerian investors.
The company’s many notable products
As expected, CAP Plc has grown over the years to become one of Nigeria’s leading paint manufacturers. In the same vein, it has a wide range of paint brands that meet the various painting needs of Nigerians. Some examples of the company’s current product offerings include:
- Dulux Gloss
- Dulux Matt Emulsion
- Dulux Silk Emulsion
- Dulux Weathershield Smooth Textured
- Dulux Weathershield Text-matt
- Dulux Weathershield Textured
- Dulux Weathershield Ultra Textured
- Caplux Paint, etc.
The company’s target market
As one of the leading paint makers in Nigeria, CAP Plc has a target market that cuts across both private paint users and industrial ones. In other words, paints manufactured by the company are patronised by both everyday Nigerians seeking to paint their homes, as well as construction companies and real estate firms who build homes for the purpose of reselling.
To meet the demand for their products by ensuring adequate distribution across the country, the company has strategic distributors in major states and cities in all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria. These include the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, Ibadan, etc.
The company’s board of directors
Cap Plc’s current Chief Executive Officer is Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunnubi. She assumed office on the 1st of January, 2018, replacing the former CEO who resigned at the end of 2017. Mrs. Ogunnubi is a graduate of the Polytechnic of Ibadan and a chartered accountant. Prior to her appointment, she served in various capacities at UACN Group.
Other members of the company’s board of directors are: Mr. Abdul Bello (Non-Executive Director), Mr Opeyemi Olukayode Agbaje (Non-Executive Director), Mr Solomon Ohiolei Aigbavboa, and Ambassador Kayode Garrick (Non-Executive Director).
Who are the company’s competitors?
The company is in competition with the likes of Paints & Coatings Manufacturers Nigeria Plc, Meyer Plc, Berger Paint Nigeria Plc, Premier Paints Plc, and Portland Paints & Products Nigeria Plc. Note that these are paint manufacturers that are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Others include Infinity Paints International Limited, Intercolour Industries Limited, Precious Paints Nigeria Limited, Sloak Paints Nigeria Limited, Trump Coat Paint, Powerseal Nigeria Limited, etc.
Appraising the company’s recent financial performance
So far in 2018, CAP Plc has reported consistent financial growth, even better than the level of growth that was recorded during the comparable period in 2017. Revenue grew to N5.4 billion between January and September 2018, compared to the N4.9 billion worth of turnover that was recorded during the same period in 2017. Also, the company has reported a profit after tax of N1.2 billion for the third quarter of 2018, compared to N964 million that was reported during Q3 2017.
It is safe to forecast that based on the company’s performance so far this year, it is poised to outperform its full-year 2017 financial report. The company had recorded a 4.40% revenue increase in 2017 (i.e., N7.1 billion compared to N6.8 billion), though profit declined by 6.53% to N1.4 billion down from N1.6 billion.
Cloud services are your safest bet against data and intellectual breaches – Adejumo, Cloudflex founder
The rule of keeping data within the country of origin allows Cloudflex to collaborate rather than compete with international players.
The Twitter community went up in flames last year when the official accounts of notable personalities like Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama were hacked by individuals who managed to rip some followers of their cryptocurrency. Those accounts were suspended for some days pending investigations but what this did was to alert the world to the need for heightened cybersecurity in countries.
In Nigeria, particularly, where cybercrime has been on the increase in the last couple of years, cybersecurity is a touchy topic; especially since global laws expect that customer data should not be stored outside the company of origin and most of the cloud services companies are international. There is, however, a local cloud company providing cloud services for Nigerians in Nigeria.
Cloudflex was founded in 2016 and has focused on providing cloud support infrastructure and services for companies away from the company premises. Founder and CEO of Cloudflex, Remi Adejumo was a guest on Nairametrics Business Half Hour recently, where he explained that the company was created to provide tailored solutions for clients in the Nigerian space.
Having worked almost three decades in several institutions, the last of which was EcoBank Nigeria Plc where he was in charge of IT Infrastructure, Adejumo saw the opportunity to create a Nigerian-built cyber-security solution, “that is fully Nigerian and run by Nigerians.”
“This is not a service where one size fits all. We have our peculiarities as a market and we are designed to serve the Nigerian market. If you want to get a foreign cloud service, you could wait 6 to 8 weeks, but if you want to get one from Cloudflex, you could have it in 24 hours.” Adejumo explained.
When companies were making several adjustments to fully activate the remote-working policy at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the importance of cloud services became more obvious. Companies needed a round-the-clock server from where the staff could access data from their homes and still work seamlessly.
The rule of keeping data within the country of origin allows Cloudflex to collaborate rather than compete with international players like Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS, and use one another’s platforms.
There are a lot of security concerns about cloud services which some people think is not safe enough, but cloud-service providers would still insist that they are the safest option.
“The cloud platform is far safer than your own private server because your private server is on your premises and everyone knows where it is. From experience, 70% of breaches are done by the staff of your own organisation, and having a third party manage your own platform, means that you and your staff don’t know where it is. There is a protocol in giving access from the service provider, so security is higher. The data breach is not just financial, it is also intellectual. You can secure a building as much as you want, but as long as there is a door, somebody can still go in. That is the limit to your physical server in your office premises,” Adejumo explained.
There are also advancements in predictive learning, analysis, and reactive security, that allows the cloud systems to detect and flag activities outside the patterns until it is confirmed and validated.
Like most other startups in the tech space, funding remains a challenge. Adejumo recounts that the company started off solely on his savings and proceeds from the sales of some assets. Nigerian investors appear to still be sceptical of the tech startups and the result of this is that a lot of investment in the tech space comes from outside the country.
Cloud services will play a major role in the future of cybersecurity and Cloudflex is poised to take a space in that scene. According to Adejumo, the company is in the process of securing funds for expansion, although crowdfunding is not one of the options being considered.
Interswitch: The story of one of Africa’s earliest unicorn companies
Interswitch has come a long way, pioneering the Nigerian digital payments system.
One can hardly switch from the years of carrying large volumes of cash around to the years of using a card for financial transactions in Nigeria, without mentioning Interswitch.
Like the name suggests, the company uses a ‘switching’ infrastructure to connect the different banks in Nigeria and provides the technology now used for ATM cards. From a time when the company had only 3 banks on its network, Interswitch has grown in the last 19 years and now has 11,000 ATMs across different banks on its network.
How the journey started
A young graduate working in Telnet, Mitchell Elegbe was worried by the several inconveniences Nigerians had to go through to carry out financial transactions. From making long and stressful journeys to the banks, waiting in long queues, missing transaction deadlines, and increased loss of cash to criminals, that was certainly not the easiest of times to be an adult. Some opted for bank drafts to avoid carrying cash to travel, and I remember accompanying my mother to the bank a couple of time to buy a bank draft to pay my school fees.
Many people had to join long queues at the banks on Friday evening to withdraw enough cash for the weekend, and this naturally meant that weekends became work hours for criminals. The most frustrating part of it was that the bank branches did not have any software connecting them, so customers had to continue withdrawing money from the exact branch they opened the account, even when they needed to make long business trips. Even the highway became a playfield for robbers.
The young Elegbe who had only worked two years after his National Youth Service Corps, came up with the Switch idea, but the plans did not materialise as many traditional players were not interested in buying the switch software.
Not deterred by this little glitch, Elegbe went ahead to establish Interswitch, an organisation which would use the Switch software to address the problem. This time, he got the support of Accenture, and also got buy-in from some banks to raise a part of the start-up capital. Getting a Chief Executive to head the company was the next hurdle to be crossed, as Elegbe recalls that most of the capable hands then available were expatriates “who expected to earn more than the company’s capital”.
In search of cheap labour, he had to take up the task even though he had very little experience thus resigning his job at Telnet. The shareholders and the sponsoring company (TELNET) had their concerns at first, but they gave Insterswitch a shot and under Elegbe’s leadership, the company pushed through the uncertain years to become what it is now. Eight years later after starting Interswitch, the company was valued to be worth N26 billion (over $170 million), giving massive returns to early private equity holders. The company’s network grew steadily from 7 banks to 13, and then an ATM consortium and Globacom, a mobile telecommunications provider, up till this point when it has almost all Nigerian banks and 11,000 ATMs on its network.
Though Elegbe had no shares at the outset, his impressive performance earned him and his team some equity in the company in the coming years.
“So you have somebody who invested N10 million in this business going away with N2.6 billion after eight years. That to me was real value,” Elegbe said. When you help solve big problems, Mitchell says, you’re bound to be well rewarded.
Mitchell Elegbe is now the Group MD & CEO, Akeem Lawal is Divisional CEO, Switching & Processing Group while Mike Ogbalu is CEO, Verve International.
In 2019, Visa bought a fifth of Interswitch at a valuation of $1billion, making Interswtich Africa’s first fintech unicorn.
Interswitch is the owner of Verve, an international debit card and Nigeria’s most used payment card which is said to account for over 70% of the 25 million cards in circulation in the country. The company also owns Quickteller, an online payments platform; Retailpay, a mobile business management platform; Interswitch S&P, the first Nigerian in-country interbank transaction switching and third party processing for all card brands; and Smartgov, an identity management and e-payment infrastructure for state governments. Interswitch now serves almost all the state government of Nigeria, and is present in several other African countries including Kenya and Uganda.
Just last month, the group announced the launch of Quickteller Business – a new comprehensive corporate solution focused on empowering businesses of all sizes, to facilitate payments and manage transactions from anywhere in the world– through one, simple integrated platform. The platform added to its launch offer, a three-month zero transaction fee incentive for SMEs that sign up immediately.
Buy-ins, acquisitions and buy-outs
Interswitch has had several achievements over the years, and some more distinct than others. Two-third of the company was sold to a consortium led by Helios Investment Partners in 2010, and barely a year after, Interswitch took a 60% stake in Bankom in Uganda.
In 2013 the payment processing company entered into an agreement with Discover Financial Services, and in September 2014, Interswitch acquired a majority shareholding in Paynet Group, an East-African payments provider.
In 2015 Interswitch launched a $10m investment fund for African start-ups in the payments sector, and has since then, strategically invested in other African startups in the payments services.
Interswitch has also acquired VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks. This new acquisition has VANSO’s mobile banking, SMS and security business lines being fully integrated into Interswitch’s digital commerce and technology operations in Nigeria, and across Africa.
The IPO that never was
It was in 2016 the Interswitch first hinted at an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange and /or the Nigerian Stock Exchange as part of options to create possible exits for its backers, but that listing never happened due to “unfavourable economic situation”.
By July 2019, it was reported that Interswitch had resumed its IPO plans and enlisted JPMorgan Chase & Co and Standard Bank Group to work on the potential IPO that was expected to value the company between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion. This listing was expected to come through by 2020, but it is believed that the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic issues which plagued 2020 may have altered the company’s plans.
A recent statement from the CEO says that Interswitch will continue with alliances in line with its growth plans, but an IPO might not be in immediate view. According to him an IPO may be considered when private equity investors want an exit out of the business.
In place of the earlier expected IPO, the company announced the listing of N23 million bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in February 2020. The bond is to run at a fixed interest rate of 15% for a tenure of 7 years.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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